Preseason smeeseason, I enjoyed the Ravens manhandling of the Redskins. Everyone expected the defense to be stellar and it was. But the most impressive part of the game was the continue development of the offense. It showed it has come a long way in two years. Cam Cameron is certainly working his magic in Baltimore.
The offensive line was great. The Ravens had to shuttle lineman in and out of the game but they never skipped a beat. Albert Haynesworth didn’t play but that doesn’t matter because we handled him last year. Everyone who watched the game had to be impressed with man-child Michael Oher.
We have all heard his story and knew he was tough. He put on a blocking display that every coach and fan should have loved. If he pancaked anymore Redskins he would have had to open an International House of Pancakes. He played to the end of the whistle with or without a helmet. He came back after cutting his head open and getting stitches. The man is tough and he plays with an attitude. The Ravens seemed to have lucked into a perennial Pro Bowler.
Although it garnered only 101 yards I was impressed with the running game. Ray Rice showed he is ready to take over as the fulltime #1 tailback. He ran hard and was shifty. His most impressive play came on his 34 yd catch out of the backfield. It was very Westbrook like.
Last night Willis McGahee showed he wasn’t going to roll over and give the job to Rice. He played quicker, ran faster, and made cuts like he did when he attended the “U”. He played harder in this preseason game than he did in the first half of last year. If we can rotate these guys together and sprinkle in McClain for short yardage, goal line, and fourth quarter duty we should be in the top three for rushing.
The thing that impressed me the most was the depth we had after the “Known” names ran. Jalen Parmele and Matt Lawrence looked liked they could play somewhere and contribute in the NFL. I know they didn’t play against the starters but they looked like they belonged. They hit their holes, followed their blocks, and looked to be more than camp players. The big question is who do you keep as the 3rd running back and who do you try to slide onto the practice squad? I had hoped Cedric Peerman would make the team or practice squad. At times he looked a little overwhelmed and lost. His fumble offsets his TD run. We’ll need to see more out of him or he won’t last long.
The passing game was rather vanilla but effective for the night. Joe Flacco looked good for his quarter plus of work. He led the team on scoring drives and had total command of the huddle. Troy Smith looked good. He had to scramble a little too much due to penetration. John Beck wasn’t in long enough to give a real impression.
There were 2 big red flags for the offense. First, we dropped way too many passes. It looked like pee-wee football with the way we dropped the ball and how many we dropped. Second, we settled for trying field goals instead of scoring touch downs. Both of these are correctible and should improve as the starters stretch out their work during the next 2 games.
After thinking about it, how much is there really to worry about after the 23-0 beat down the Ravens hung on the Deadskins.